Despite what were described as increased efforts by the tobacco industry to undermine the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), important decisions were passed by the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP6) to the FCTC meeting in Moscow last week, according to a HealthCanal.com story.
One of the first decisions approved by COP6 was in relation to Article 6 guidelines, which concern tax measures aimed at reducing demand for tobacco. ‘The regulations provide for tax rates to be monitored, increased and adjusted annually, taking into account inflation and income growth,’ the story said. ‘At the same time, all tobacco products should be taxed in a comparable way to prevent substitutions of the use of one product with another.’
COP6 adopted also a decision on electronic nicotine (and non-nicotine) delivery systems (ENDS). ‘This rather novel product was first launched by independent companies, but many of them are now being controlled by multinational tobacco companies,’ the story said. ‘The decision acknowledges the need for regulations along the lines of policies concerning other tobacco products, including banning or restricting promotion, advertising and sponsorship of ENDS.’
COP6 noted that the heaviest burden of tobacco related diseases was borne by the most vulnerable population groups, and the Moscow Declaration called on the parties to strengthen international collaboration on tobacco control so as to reduce tobacco use by 30 per cent by 2025.
Some of the other decisions taken concerned:
- Proposals for the regulation of smokeless tobacco and water pipe products;
- Recommendations for entry into force of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products;
- A commitment to continue to work on Article 19, which concerns the liability of tobacco companies;
- Principles concerning articles 17 and 18, which address sustainable alternative livelihoods for tobacco growers;
- Trade and investment issues related to FCTC implementation;
- Assessment of the FCTC’s impact on the ‘tobacco epidemic’.